What You Need to Know About Natural Nutrition for Your Cat

Brennan and Sebastian

What you feed your cat is one of the most important decisions you'll make toward her lifelong health. For cats with specific diet needs, natural foods can be a great choice.

Eating food closest to a natural diet is important for virtually every living creature. By only selecting brands that meet certain natural nutrition requirements, you can rest assured that your cat's food is made up of selective natural ingredients that contribute to overall health and wellness.

Selective ingredients
Commercial pet food is subject to regulatory oversight, including ingredients, manufacturing, distribution, labeling and more. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that the ingredients are safe and have an appropriate function in the pet food. Natural cat food brands have specific requirements. They must:

  • Meet AAFCO nutrition standards (Association of American Feed Control Officials, Inc.)
  • Contain high-quality meat proteins as a primary ingredient (except vegetarian formulas)
  • Contain nutrients from recognizable whole food sources like meats, fruits and vegetables
  • Contain no unnecessary chemicals, preservatives or additives

Different types of Natural Nutrition
Natural nutrition offers healthful ingredients that can support a variety of unique needs for cats. You can choose a natural formula that is simply based on life stage:

  • Life stage: Kitten (under 1 year), Adult (ages 1-7, depending on breed), Senior (8 or older, depending on breed) or All Life Stages (for multiple-pet households).

You can also choose a formula based on a unique need, then choose the life stage. Here are some types of natural cat food formulas:

  • Grain-free: **** Contains no wheat, corn or barley for cats with food sensitivities. Does your pet tend to be especially itchy? Read more about detecting a food allergy in your pet.
  • Limited ingredient diets: Formulated to include one protein source, one easily-digestible carbohydrate and limited ingredients for cats with food sensitivities. Unique protein sources like venison or duck can make a big difference in your pet's diet, especially if they have trouble digesting more standard foods.
  • Higher protein: Formulated with higher than average protein levels (32% or more) for cats with higher energy needs. Many high-protein cat food formulas are also grain-free.
  • Organic: Contains food sources that have not been exposed to pesticides, growth hormones, or antibiotics, while also following USDA, FDA or other recognized authorities in organic standards.

Consult with your veterinarian on your cat's nutrition plan, and never switch your cat's food abrupty. Read more about how to transition your cat to a new food.

Learn more about how to decode a natural cat food label.

Shop our selection of natural cat food.

Learn how to trim your cat's nails and much more.

Article by: PetcoBlogger